Journey of Years 2 - Over the Misty Mountains Grim
Welcome to the part 2 of my Tale of Years playthrough, where I aim to play through every scenario in chronology order. This series follows the thematic hero suggestions from the awesome fan made mega-campaign ruleset and also aims to only change up the party at the narrative pauses noted in that ruleset. All cards and scenarios are from the official and AleP releases.
Our party's next goal is to brave the Misty Mountains and its dangerous Storm Giants only to have an unexpected chaotic melee down down in goblin town below.
Over the Misty Mountains Grim
This quest really plays like two scenarios in one. In the first stages of the quest there are two goals. The first is to slip past the giants' notice by maintaining threat below 40 and using Gandalf's suite of control cards to avoid or outright cancel the nastier treacheries. The second goal is to make only modest progress against the quest stage with the aim of getting five resources on Bilbo before advancing. This usually means about four turns on this stage as four of the locations in the encounter deck will add a resource to Bilbo once explored. Don't worry about the giants themselves as they get removed with the rest of the first encounter deck after advancing.
Once stage three arrives things get more frantic. Right at the reveal you'll be required to add the Great Goblin and reveal six cards from the encounter deck (reducible down to 1 by spending Bilbo resources). The Great Goblin's low threat and the deck's high concentration of goblins means he'll start loading up the staging area if he's let loose for too long. Much like in Break of Day, there should have been a good amount of time to build up a board of allies before reaching this stage. Concentrate on keeping the enemies under control until the Great Goblin is down and then a heavy round or two of questing should be enough to complete the last stage.
Mulligan for resource generators (Gandalf's Staff, Resourceful, or Steward of Gondor) or Word of Command to pull one. Strider is the obvious setup grab with Grey Wanderer, but if it ends up in your initial hand, pull Wizard Pipe.
Between one of the resource attachments and Grey Wanderer, Gandalf will be generating four resources or more a round, usually allowing him to drop a single costly ally per turn. The allies in this version of the deck were chosen for flexibility (excepting Sailor of Lune) - depending on the goblin spread most allies can defend or attach with equal effectiveness.
Use Risk Some Light, Out of the Wild, and A Test of Will to keep control of the encounter deck. In stage two you're looking in particular for Wind-Whipped Rain, More Like a Grocer, and Guffawing of Giants. In Stage three, look to remove any surging enemies from the deck to keep goblin numbers in check. Ranger Spikes are also great to lay down in the final stage, essentially negating a goblin per turn.
Sailor of Lune are superstars in stage two. Use them to stave off Galloping Boulders. Gandalf himself can easily soak a hit if needed and just heal up afterward with Grey Wanderer.
Keep your board relatively trimmed to a few characters at a time and it will give the opportunity to snipe a 2 hit point goblin with a well timed Taking Initiative. When paired with the damage from your dwarf partner's questing Thalin, this can drop any goblin enemy the encounter deck can throw at you.
Hard mulligan for We Are Not Idle, which can be an incredible boost on turn one. With four dwarf heroes, it'll give you eight(!) resources to boost early game.
Turning on the "five dwarf" bonus is easy with four heroes, meaning you only need to drop one more dwarf to enable them. Ori should provide a lot of extra cards over the course of the game because of this.
Your threat starts very high at 37, so aim to play as many dwarves as possible to trigger Nori's reduction.
Quest often with Thalin - in stage two he'll drop any crow enemies before they trigger, and in stage three he'll drop a lot of free damage on revealing goblins.
Use Lure of Moria as a get of jail card - if the number of enemies get out of control it can allow putting up a good defense and then heavily counterattacking, or it can act as insurance when making a heavy quest push should you fall short of clearing it after going all-in.
While super essential transitioning into stage three, for the rest of the quest Bilbo is just sort of... there. Load him up with Sting if playing campaign, and quest/assist where helpful.